The offensive line on the Miami football team has been a weakness for the past several years. A pair of the most recent enrollees in the Surge ’19 class are prospects to become contributors up front in the future.
Center Jakai Clark and tight end Larry Hodges enrolled on Monday and are now officially part of the Miami football program. Getting Clark and Hodges in and working with strength and conditioning coach David Feeley is critical to their progress.
At 6’3 305 Clark already has excellent size to anchor the middle of the offensive line. He was the 1,505th ranked player overall in the class of 2019, the 17th best center and 139th ranked player in Georgia. He was a three-star signee. Corey Gaynor projects as the starting center with Clark and Tommy Kennedy as the backups.
Hodges could potentially redshirt in 2018 if Miami can keep the tight ends healthy. He is more than a tight end. Former Miami offensive coordinator Thomas Brown stated that Hodges is versatile. Hodges will eventually be expected to line up all over the field. He can play on the line, off the ball, H-back or split out wide.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald said that Brown’s replacement Dan Enos occasionally uses an H-back. For Hodges to play in 2019 he will compete with rising redshirt sophomore Brian Polendey to be the fourth team tight end. Brevin Jordan, Will Mallory and Michael Irvin II are ahead of them.
Hodges was an incredibly efficient player in high school. He led his Tampa Jesuit team with 17 receptions for 278 yards and five touchdowns. Hodges was the 588th ranked player overall, 26th ranked tight end and 73rd ranked player in Florida. With a young corps at tight end, it will be interesting to see how Hodges develops.
The 2019 season will mostly be one of growth and learning for Hodges and Clark. They are not likely to come in and immediately impact the Miami football team. In the age of likes and instant gratification many if not most college football players need time for their bodies and games to mature.